Your Doctor

10 'Did you know' medical facts for women

1. Simple tricks like staying hydrated, could be the main eliminator of period pain and the bloated sensation a lot of women feel. It is also true that eating a small amount of dark chocolate encourages the secretion of serotonin which soothes anxiety and moodiness. 

2. The average age that women go through the menopause is 52, but a woman may usually start to experience menopausal symptoms between the ages of 45 and 55. The symptoms can often last two to five years. For 10% of women the symptoms continue indefinitely.

3. It is true that women experience stress (in a physical form) more than men, making them more likely to cry and experience aches and pains.

4. Being aware of your breasts is important so that you know what is ‘normal’ for you. The best way to know how they should normally look and feel is to check them in the bath or shower as it is easier to check for abnormalities with a wet hand – you should pay particular attention to dimples in the skin and inversion of the nipple. It is best to check breasts after a period when the texture is less lumpy. 

5. We all know that quitting smoking is one of the best health choices that one can make. Women are more prone than men to heart disease and quitting smoking helps to reduce the chances of developing the disease. Women generally have less success in quitting smoking and have more relapses than men.

6. During safe sex, using spermicide gel could be the cause of recurring cystitis in women. Cystitis (a urinary infection) is common for many women and can usually be ‘flushed out’ of your system with plenty of fluids like water. Cranberry juice when taken regularly reduces the frequency of attacks

7. Urinary incontinence affects one third of new mothers and although uncomfortable and potentially embarrassing, can often be treated with a few light physiotherapy sessions.

8. The risk of ovarian cancer increases with age. A woman becomes more at risk of developing the disease if she has never used any oral contraceptive pill before. There are now useful screening tests for ovarian cancer so consult your doctor if you have any new symptoms such as bloating, irregular bleeding or abdominal pain.

9. Women are more likely to report sleep problems due to hormone levels that peak and dip. Keeping the room temperature lower should keep you more comfortable and can improve sleep patterns. 

10. Women are more likely to have greater emotional intelligence and empathy because they typically have a larger limbic system which supports a variety of functions including emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory.